Author Topic: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted  (Read 13172 times)

Offline lking348

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2012, 07:44:30 AM »
I live in Central Mass., and we've had 3 occasions where we've lost power for a week. One was in 1985; one was last year, after a freak snow storm in October; one was a huge ice storm in 2008.  We seem to have frequent power outages in this area, though usually not too long.

The three big outages were really just "blips" to us. We have a wood stove, which we use to heat our house anyway, and I often use it for cooking. I have a big, cast iron Dutch oven, which is great for baking or warming up leftovers. We usually have plenty of food on hand, so that wasn't an issue. We were short on batteries, though. Lesson learned!

We also have plenty of oil lamps for light. We have town water, which wasn't affected, so we had running water (although not hot). I think the biggest challenge is the change in routine--how to occupy your time, and rising/going to bed with the sun.

We have a generator, which helped us keep the freezer/fridge going as needed.  I'm toying with the idea of investing in a solar-powered generator.  Does anyone have experience with those?

I'm prepping for longer outages, though, because you never know...

Offline jm_sol

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #31 on: August 24, 2012, 07:44:35 PM »
update.  the freezers have been emptied and the wild animals at the back of the property are eating well for a few days.. BOO  apparantly our son and daughter in law decided to help us out and dump it all. ah well. better safe than sorry..

lessons learned..
1.canning or dehydrating all foods to be stored at the farm. we live and work some 8 hours away. cant take a chance on losing a freezer or in this case 3 freezers again.
2.better communication with the folks that check our place while we are not there.
3. get really serious and soon re: retirement at the farm full time
4. Uncle jack was right again about planning a BOL closer to main residence.

we love our farm and will not sell to find a better BOL. its been in my family for over 100 yrs. i feel so blessed that my dear great uncle wanted to sell when we were able to buy. its not easy too keep both houses going. thankfully we only have 3 maybe 5 years to retirement.

thanks to all the forum friends for the replies.

Offline Cedar

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #32 on: August 24, 2012, 08:06:53 PM »
I guess I am luckier than most in this regard as due to the fact I lived in the bush in British Columbia, Canada. I used to get alot of power outages, especially one year. If I lived 5 more miles out, I would have to be off-grid anyway as there was no power or telephone past that point (no cell phone service ANYWHERE) in the area. So we were usually last in the loop to get the power back on too.. so little people lived out my way.

I (we at the time) did not even blink an eye anymore unless we had baby chicks which required heat, when the power left us for up to days at a time. One of the last times it happened I was just about to put a HUGE roaster pan of lasagna into the electric oven and BLIP.. the lights went out.. and so did the electric oven. It took me about 10 seconds to walk the roaster pan to the woodstove, put a spacer on it and then cook the lasagna for about 2 hours more than the oven would have been and it was the best lasagna I have ever had.

Freezers were not a huge concern, due to where I/we lived and where the freezers were located. Just the inside refrigerator was the problem due to the heat from the woodstove. We put the refrigerator contents in 3 cardboard boxes on the front porch and let them just almost freeze and then put them back in the fridge. Winter is about 7-8 months there, so heat generally was not an issue outside, just coyote and fox this time of the year. I am sure they would just love to raid the cardboard boxes. In the summer, the freezers are getting low so there is not much meat in there until fall when we butchered and we did not tend to get many power outages in the summer months.

I had 3 (7 now) oil lamps. One was for the living room for reading, one for the kitchen and one as a spare. We kept several gallons of lamp oil (but not in the house, we kept it in the shoppe or the root cellar).

Water was not hugely a problem either as we had a 36 handdug well we could run clean 5 gallon buckets into. We were looking for a frost free hand pump for it. This is the original well and the new one ended up at 120 ft. We had up to 3 other families who came up and to stay with us, as they could not manage at their homes without any electric. We just told them to bring water and bedding if they came up.

So other than the kids not watching movies or playing electric guitars or PS2's, it is pretty normal around there. We had woodheat as our only source of heat anyway, our cooking source as the same, light from wind up flashlights and oil lamps, we have a wind up radio with SW I & II as
well as FM/AM, we had water. We played card or board games, get in more reading we have been trying to work on, get a great concert by the teenager on the acoustic guitar.

The kids even complained when the electric came back on we had so much fun. They also decided the wind up radio they always teased me about was awesome as one time they were wanting to watch the Grey Cup (kinda like the Superbowl for Canada) and the power went out just as the game started. I got the radio out and they all sat around it winding it to listen to the game.

Most folks up there had outhouses as well as the indoor loo, but I never got around to putting one in. We melted snow in 5 gallon buckets near the woodstove as an ongoing thing for the toilets and the dog’s.

For the chicks, when the electric went out, I heated bricks on the woodstove to take them out.

After I was a single person on the farm again, I actually don’t remember any long lasting power outages.

Now that I am in Oregon, I have started canning all my meat up into jars after not a power failure, but a freezer failure turned me onto canning the meat. I discovered how awesome already cooked meat is, so I have continued. Then I do not have to worry about my meat thawing if power goes out. I mostly use my freezers to gather enough of the same type of food to do a huge run on pressure/waterbath canning it.

My woodstove pipe needs to be replaced as it is risky to use it currently, but my only real worry is if it is cold winter and the power goes out as I have a gas furnace. No electric, no furnace fans or heat. It won’t work. So I have some money saved for the stovepipe and hopefully will get it in before winter 2012/13.

Cedar

Offline SwitchThrottle

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2012, 05:24:09 PM »
A couple times a year we lose power for a couple hours.  Last October, we had a snow storm hit that took out power for 10 days.  We have a 5500w generator and a whole house transfer switch.  Because the storm wasn't predicted to be bad, I skipped the fill up on fuel on the way home.  The storm hit early, and hard, and we were out of power by 4.  I fired up the generator, and we were good to go, for a limited time.  I wasn't storing much fuel, so I knew I was going to need to get some in the morning.  Turns out the storm was a lot worse than we thought, and only a handful of stations in the state had power to pump fuel.  We left our house in my truck on empty.  Lucked out and found a station 15 miles away with fuel and power.

I vowed to never let that happen again.  Now we store enough fuel to run for a week.  If I thought it was going to be bad, I could stretch hat to a month.

Offline jm_sol

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2012, 08:10:05 PM »
in the aftermath of hurricane Issac, my daughter (not interested in preparing) has returned to new orleans. she has been on a "hurrication" as she calls it.. where she comes to our place with the kiddos and escapes the storm. the kids love to visit nanna and pappa and we love every minute.

she and her husband watched lots of weather channel between cartoons shows. and were glued to their iphones. they did not have major damage and the son in law returned to begin rebuilding (he is in the construction business) dear daughter and kids left today as they have power at their house again

she reports that the stores are open but WHAT.. yes surprised and shocked was she that the shelves were not fully stocked. no frozen foods. little meat.  few veg.. she called me from her walmart where she was so surprised that the number of people there vs the few goods to be had.  also the store is closing at dusk where it usually is a 24 hr store,

HELLO daughter,, looters!! security concerns. i reminded her as nicely as i could that THIS is what woke me and hubby up after Ike.  stock up, store up. save money in cash at home.. have doc package. and insurance.. fuel storage. food storage. be prepared.

did she listen..... sadly i dont think so... grrrrrr

perhap this needs to be in the rant section but i couldnt find it...


Offline lking348

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #35 on: September 06, 2012, 06:28:20 AM »
Yes, it is SO hard to sit by, knowing what you know, and have those closest to you ignore it all. I keep hoping that the things I'm doing will set an example for my kids. My son-in-law says that if things go south, he's heading to my house! But he and my daughter aren't doing anything to prepare themselves, at least that I've seen.

Meanwhile, we're fast approaching the anniversary of last year's freak snow storm here in the Northeast, which knocked out power for a week around here, more in other towns. So I'm more focused on ever than bringing in and preserving the harvest, and I've stocked up on things like batteries, water, pet food, toilet paper, and more.

Offline lettuceman

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #36 on: September 06, 2012, 06:52:02 AM »
It sounds like son-in-law needs to grow up and become a man.

Offline ccather

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Re: Your Experiences - without power via storms,or self inflicted
« Reply #37 on: September 24, 2012, 07:07:47 PM »
Hurricane Ivan-  Pensacola, FL
11 days without power 8 days without water. 

Most thankful: when the running water returned.   Most enjoyed: the view of the Milky Way at night (No city lights!)

Most surprised: how little I missed electrical service. 

Equipment receiving thumbs up: head lamp (led lights), battery powered radio, Coleman stove (dual fuel), mosquito netting (covering while sleeping on porch), wet wipes, high quality ice chest, large tarps (cover holes in roof), braided rope, extension ladder

Equipment receiving thumbs down:  oil lamps  (way too hot on 75-80 degree, humid nights), large electrical generator (we had a 10kw generator and did not use it because it was so loud),